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About African Baskets


     Basket weaving has been around since the beginning of mankind. As soon as humans figured out that the reeds could be intertwined, they began to experiment with them. Soon they discovered that they could make useful containers using the natural resources available to their area. As time went on, through trial and error or visitors from other areas, they soon learned new techniques for basket weaving. Baskets are all handcrafted from natural materials found in their native area and ours are no exception. Our Sangwe and Tonga baskets are all individually hand woven from grasses. These flat or bowl shaped baskets work well as center pieces on tables, fruit baskets, or as a wall decoration. They can also be layered to make a unique display for any room in the house.

     The traditional Zulu baskets or herb containers are handcrafted in KwaZulu, South Africa. The Zulus use herbs found in the veld for culinary purposes. They also use age-old herbal remedies to cure various ailments. They will visit the Nyanga (Herbalist) or Sangoma (Soothsayer) for help. The prescribed medication is either daubed on the body, worn around the neck, or placed within the home in a suitable container. These herb containers are made from 100% natural materials, including palm, bark, or grass, and the dyes. Ilala palm fronds are commonly used to make these traditional Zulu herb containers.

     Basket making is a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation, usually among the women. Young girls begin to learn this art as soon as they are capable. Many women and girls are able to support themselves by selling their amazingly beautiful hand crafted baskets.


 

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